Take Stock of Adobe Stock

Adobe Stock Tips
Take Stock of Adobe Stock
Review by Dee Marie
In June of 2015, Adobe Stock became an official member of the Adobe Creative Cloud team. No … Adobe Stock is not referring to Adobe’s NASDAQ stock market listing. Instead, it’s Adobe’s solution to fulfilling their customer’s needs when it comes to stock photography, vectors, and illustrations. With over 40 million high resolution royalty-free images, once again Adobe has lived up to its promise of listening and meeting its customers’ needs.
An Internet search will quickly produce a myriad of stock image sites. However, Adobe is the only one that offers direct integration with five of its most prestigious programs (Photoshop CC 2015, Illustrator CC 2015, InDesign CC 2015, Premiere Pro CC 2015, and After Effects CC 2015) by launching Adobe Stock images within each of these program’s Adobe CC Libraries Panel.
If you are not an Adobe Creative Cloud subscriber, or even if you do not own any of the 2015 Creative Cloud versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, and After Effects, you can still take advantage of Adobe Stock’s imagery, by downloading images directly from the Adobe Stock website to your computer, and open (either the watermarked or licensed version) of the image within your favorite image editing/viewing application.
TIP: The Adobe CC Libraries integrated with the Adobe Stock is only available in the CC 2015 versions of Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, InDesign CC, Premiere Pro CC, and After Effects CC.
TIP: If you are not a Creative Cloud Subscriber, Adobe Stock will prompt you to create an Adobe ID before you can download a watermarked version of an image.
Searching and Filtering
Previewing images on Adobe Stock is free (no Adobe ID is required to view the Adobe Stock catalog of over 40 million images). However, your first visit to the Adobe Stock website can be overwhelming. Each image is high quality, and the subject matter is endless. There are many filters to help narrow down the field. The most obvious is choosing which image format you need for a specific project: Photographs, Illustrations, Vectors.
TIP: If you find an image that you are considering revisiting, be sure to copy-and-save the Image File Number. This number can be inserted in the Adobe Stock search engine to quickly locate the image.
You can also use the Sort by Relevance filter:
  • Recent: Brings up images in your search that were recently uploaded to Adobe Stock
  •  Relevant: Allows you to further narrow your search to a specific criteria
  • Popular: Produces the most viewed images featured in your search
  •  Downloaded: This brings up the images with the highest number of actual downloads.
  •  Undiscovered: Is one of my favorite search filters, as some of the searches can number in the hundreds of thousands … this is an excellent way to view images that you may have otherwise overlooked.
Adobe Stock Tips Filtering
The last search filter batch is rather hidden. It is a little “cog-like” icon just to the far side of the Sort by Relevance filter. Ironically, it is the most important one for really pinpointing a specific image; not to mention a huge time-saver.
  1. Orientation: This search filter is an imperative sorting tool especially for a print or website designer, as it filters the search from four of the major layout criteria: rectangle, square, horizontal, and panorama.
  2. Tools: Provides the option for a Safe Search (a no explicit-image filter).
  3. People: ALL: allows you to search for images that have either people or no people. INCLUDE: are images with people in them. EXCLUDE: reduces your search for images without humans.
  4. Color: Is another one of my favorite search filters, especially when it comes to print and/or web design. This one sorts your search by clicking a color palette selector. It also gives the option of inserting a color HEX code. Searched images are then sorted pertaining to your specific color scheme.
  5. Categories: I found this search filter more fun than helpful, as the 21 selections ranged from: Social Issues to States of Mind. I tried all 21 category selections on a search for horses, and came up with some interesting results … in all cases it did narrow the search process.
TIP: If you use any of the above optional search filters, the filter for photographs, illustrations and vectors becomes disabled. This can be a time-waster if you are specifically searching for photographs. Utilizing any of the additional filters, deactivates the option to exclusively search for photographs (or vectors, illustrations).
Once you have narrowed your search criteria and find an image that you hope will meet your needs (or your client’s needs), you get one more chance to further filter. Click on the image thumbnail to bring up a larger version. You can then click on the Find Similar button. Also, under a majority of images, there is a More From This Series link; which takes you to a page filled with similar images from the same photographer/illustrator.
Previewing and Licensing
You’ve finally found the perfect image. As mentioned above, clicking on the thumbnail will open a new panel with a larger view of the image. This section also contains information pertaining to the image: Name of the photographer/illustrator; Image size; Image file number; Image file format (JPEG, AI, EPS, or SVG). Also, on this panel are the all-important LICENSE [Purchase] and PREVIEW buttons.
Adobe Stock Tips Information Panel
Image Author: V&P Photo Studio – Image File Number: 57899907
Adobe Stock Image Information Panel
You do not need to be a Creative Cloud Subscriber to purchase a single image, or download a watermarked preview, or even to purchase an Adobe Stock Image Subscription Plan. However, you do need to create a free Adobe ID (simple name and/or password procedure).
Of course there are huge advantages to being an Adobe Creative Cloud Subscriber. You get 40 percent off Adobe Stock’s most popular subscription plan. Plus if you go over your monthly image limit, you get a discount per each additional single image. A huge time-saver is being able to launch Adobe Stock directly from within Photoshop CC 2015, Illustrator CC 2015, InDesign CC 2015, Premiere Pro CC 2015, and/or After Effects CC 2015.
However, the biggest benefit of being an Adobe Creative Cloud Subscriber is the ability to download images directly from Adobe Stock (even watermarked ones) into any of the above specified Adobe programs.
Once an unlicensed image is downloaded to your Adobe CC Library within Photoshop CC 2015 (Illustrator CC 2015, InDesign CC 2015, Premiere Pro CC 2015, and/or After Effects CC 2015) you can then manipulate the watermarked image (with limitations), and the smart-filters applied to the watermarked image will function on the licensed image.
Watermarked Images
It is important to note that every Adobe Stock watermarked image is downloaded as a “Cloud-linked Smart Object.” That means you can only use specific tools and smart filters to manipulate an unlicensed watermarked image.
Adobe Stock Tips Raster
Image Author: bereta – Image File Number: 63943718
For example: If you open your watermarked image in a new layer and you want to use the Eraser Tool, a pop-up message will state, “The smart object must be rasterized before proceeding [to use the Erase Tool]. If you agree to rasterize the watermarked image before it is licensed … it is no longer a Smart Object (additional information on Adobe Smart Filters), and the watermark will remain on the manipulated image … even after the image has been licensed.
Adobe Stock Tips Libraries
Finding the Libraries Panel in Adobe Photoshop CC 2015
TIP: To open the CC Libraries Panel in Photoshop CC 2015 (Illustrator CC 2015, InDesign CC 2015, Premiere Pro CC 2015, and After Effects CC 2015), on the Application Bar click Window, and scroll down to Libraries.
Adobe Stock Tips Open Stock
Opening Adobe Stock inside of the Photoshop 2015 CC Libraries Panel
TIP: You can open the Adobe Stock website directly within Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 (Illustrator CC 2015, InDesign CC 2015, Premiere Pro CC 2015, and After Effects CC 2015) by opening the CC Libraries Panel [see previous tip], and clicking on the far fly-out menu icon in the top corner of the Libraries Panel. Then scroll down and click on Search Adobe Stock.
TIP: Worth mentioning again: if you license a rasterized image, the watermark will remain on all images that were converted to Non-Smart-Objects before they were licensed.
Adobe Stock License
Image Author: Monkey Business – Image File Number: 59162583
Always open watermarked images on layer of a new document
Very Important TIP: You must create a new document when working on an unlicensed image. If you merely open the watermarked image directly from the CC Libraries Panel, the watermark will remain on the image, even after it is licensed. See image above as an example: The photograph on the left was opened directly from Photoshop’s CC Libraries; while the one on the right was opened on a layer within a new document. The watermarked image was then licensed. Notice how the image on the left still retains the watermark, even though it is licensed.
That does not mean that you cannot manipulate your image before deciding to purchase. I was able to resize, and add a majority of Photoshop filters (located under Filter on the Application Bar). The best part is that I could still delete, or make the filters invisible and/or visible, after the watermarked image was licensed.
Adobe Stock Tips Rastered
Image Author: bereta – Image File Number: 63943718
Ways you can and cannot manipulate a watermarked image
TIP: Remember, Smart Objects will not allow you to use the majority of tools located on the Tool Bar (you cannot: paint, erase, use the healing brush, the gradient tool, etc.) without first rasterizing the image.
When you License [purchase] an image the watermark disappears. … even on the images that have been manipulated, without any changes to the manipulated previously watermarked image.
If you are an Adobe Creative Cloud Subscriber you have the advantage of licensing your watermarked image directly from within Photoshop CC 2015 (Illustrator CC 2015, InDesign CC 2015, Premiere Pro CC 2015, and After Effects CC 2015). All you do is right-click on the unlicensed image to bring up a fly-out panel; on the panel click on the License Image link. Within seconds, like magic, the watermark disappears. Plus your low resolution unlicensed image, automatically morphs into a high-resolution image.
Adobe Stock Tips Stock
Image Author: duelune – Image File Number: 75835890
Within Photoshop CC 2015, right click on the unlicensed image to license it
TIP: Quick trick for licensing your Adobe Stock watermarked image if you Are Not an Adobe Creative Cloud Subscriber (or are using earlier versions of Adobe programs). As mentioned previously, each watermarked image has a file-number embedded in the lower corner. If you paste the file-number of the watermarked image into Adobe Stock’s search engine, the image you are searching for will pop up. Click the image and the Image Information page will appear along with the Buy License button.
TIP: Once you have licensed an Adobe Stock image, the licensed image is yours to use without time-limit restrictions. You however cannot claim to be the original image’s creator, nor can you resell the original image as its author.
You are now in possession of an official royalty free image. If you ever need to know which images you have licensed, just visit the Adobe Stock website (making sure you are signed in). On the top bar of Adobe Stock’s website, there is a link to your images, and a number that informs you how many images you have available to download. Clicking IMAGES will take you to your licensed images page.
TIP: On your purchased images page there is a License Again button. Only click the that button if you need to purchase additional licenses of a specific image.
Image Restrictions
In regards to your new royalty-free image optionsAdobe states,  “Adobe Stock photos, illustrations, and vector files can be used in any creative project, including print ads, brochures, presentations, posters, book covers, commercials, websites, and annual reports.”
Adobe further declares, “You are welcome to edit [Adobe Stock licensed images] in any way you deem necessary. Note, however, that your modifications must not violate or infringe on the intellectual property or other rights of any person or entity, nor place the author or the model in a bad light or depict them in any way that might be deemed offensive.”
TIP: It is important to know your “rights,” so to be on the safe side, it would be in your best interest to also read Adobe Stock’s Additional Terms of Usage.
TIP: You cannot use your licensed Adobe Stock image for a professional logo. Nor can you sell items that have the original, unaltered, licensed image attached (mugs, t-shirts, tote bags, etc.).
TIP: If you are an author contracted with an Indie Publishing House, be forewarned if they use Stock Images for book covers. One of my favorite award-winning authors (with a literary agent) had a small publishing house use a stock image for his book cover. Several months later he discovered the same image on two different novels, written in different genres, by two different authors.
Adobe Stock Payment Plans
Adobe Stock offers several payment plans, and it can get rather confusing.
TIP: Carefully read the Adobe Subscription Terms before choosing your plan
(Tax is added to all plans when applicable)
Plan One: $9.99: Single image download
TIP: Check Adobe Stock Plans often, as they do run sales on single images.
Plan Two Part A: $49.99 for 10 images a month (with carryover for unused images).
[This plan is for Non-Creative Cloud Subscribers]
TIP: If you go over your allotted 10 images in a month, each additional single image is $4.99
TIP: Note … there is a 120 download cap on carryover images.
TIP: If you cancel your monthly subscription before the end of your payment monthly date, you forfeit all of your unused images.
Plan Two Part B: $29.99 for 10 images a month (with carryover for unused images).
[This is a monthly plan exclusively for Adobe Creative Cloud Subscribers]
TIP: If you go over your allotted 10 images in a month, each additional single image is $2.99
TIP: Note … there is a 120 download cap on carryover images.
TIP: If you cancel your monthly subscription before the end of your payment monthly date, you forfeit all of your unused images.
Plan Three Part A: $249.99 a month for 750 monthly downloads
Plan Three Part B: $199.99 (a month) on a yearly contract for 750 monthly downloads
[Plan Three Part A/B are for all users: even for non-Creative Cloud Subscribers]
TIP: If your go over your 750 downloads in a month, each additional single image is 99 cents
TIP: Also, both 750 downloads a month plans, are use it or lose it. Unused image downloads Do Not rollover on either of the 750 download plans.
Bundle Payment Plans for Adobe Creative Cloud Subscribers
But, wait, there’s more … Adobe also offers huge price-cuts if you choose one of their Adobe Stock Bundle Plans. Although the savings are excellent, the plans can be rather confusing; so be sure to fully understand what you are signing-up for. If you have additional questions, Adobe offers outstanding customer service, and will help you decide which plan is best for you.
Contributing Adobe Stock Content
Adobe Stock’s marketplace is overflowing with high-quality print ready images with up to 300 dpi; vector files can be printed in all formats without loss in quality. If you think your photographs, illustrations, and/or vectors are equal to those on the Adobe Stock website, then your first step is to register as an Adobe Stock Image Contributor. The link takes you to the Fotolia website (In January, 2015, Adobe acquired Fotolia [an established image provider] to manage Adobe Stock Image’s Marketplace).
As of this review, you can only contribute content in the following file formats: JPEG, AI, EPS, or SVG (video formats are currently not available through Adobe Stock). If your images are selected, it is time to get paid. Read, study, and devour the various ways to earn Adobe Stock Royalties.
Adobe Stock images can be used in multitude of ways. With Adobe CreativeSync you can access your images across a variety of platforms, including Creative Cloud desktop and/or mobile applications. Plus you have the option to share ideas with your creative team (even before you license your image). You can also store your images in the Creative Cloud Libraries to be used in the most popular Adobe programs and a growing number of mobile apps,
Adobe Stock Resolutions
Image Author: fotomaximum – Image File Number: 64120456
If you are a professional designer, you already know the benefits of becoming an Adobe Stock subscriber. If you are a novice dabbler on the Internet, you may wonder what all the fuss is about … after all, you have never purchased a stock image. However, if you design websites, write a blog, compose online newsletters, help your children with their homework, or even create your own holiday greeting cards … one day you will be searching for a specific image. On that day you will have a renewed appreciation for Adobe Stock’s over 40 million images.
To learn even more about Adobe Stock please check-out the following links:
All Supporting Images are copyright and cannot be downloaded or used in any format, without written permission.
Dee Marie freelance journalist
Dee Marie is a former Managing Editor and later Editor-in-Chief of an international printed CGI magazine. She is currently a freelance journalist while writing her award-winning Sons of Avalon saga. She invites you to visit her on Facebook, Twitter, and her Sons of Avalon website.